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Browse Prior Art Database

Flexible Front of Screen Pattern Drawing Software

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113713D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 83K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Harley, M: AUTHOR

Abstract

Display set-up and inspection requires that Front Of Screen patterns be drawn on a display. Specialised hardware (a pattern or character generator) can be used for this purpose. The capabilities of such a device give them flexibility in the content (or appearance) of patterns and the mode in which they are drawn. However, this solution has a number of disadvantages. Programming such devices requires a high level of skill. Pattern selection can be difficult. There is a finite number of patterns that they can store for future retrieval. They are expensive and when consideration is given to multiple installations, costs are prohibitive.

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Flexible Front of Screen Pattern Drawing Software

      Display set-up and inspection requires that Front Of Screen
patterns be drawn on a display.  Specialised hardware (a pattern or
character generator) can be used for this purpose.  The capabilities
of such a device give them flexibility in the content (or appearance)
of patterns and the mode in which they are drawn.  However, this
solution has a number of disadvantages.  Programming such devices
requires a high level of skill.  Pattern selection can be difficult.
There is a finite number of patterns that they can store for future
retrieval.  They are expensive and when consideration is given to
multiple installations, costs are prohibitive.

      When working with PC displays, a software package can exploit a
PC's graphics subsystem to draw the patterns required.  This
disclosure describes such a software package hereinafter referred to
as FOSPAT.  It offers a simple, cheap and flexible alternative to the
use of pattern generators.

      FOSPAT can be used with any industry standard PC analogue
display.  Although developed specifically to work with the IBM XGA-2
graphics subsystem, the concepts behind it can be applied to other
similar subsystems.

      FOSPAT is a stand-alone DOS application.  It uses data files to
provide information on pattern content and the mode in which it is
driven.  FOSPAT then manipulates an XGA-2 subsystem to draw the
pattern as desired on an attached display.  Since it is data driven,
FOSPAT provided fully programmable pattern drawing.

      There are two different suitable formats for data files used to
give pattern content:- ASCII pattern command files and bit map image
files.  The ASCII command files contain elementary drawing commands
and these are used to describe the content of a FOS pattern.  (Eg
line 0 0 200 200 describes a line from pixel 0,0 to pixel 200,200.)
Bit map image files can also be used to provide FOS patterns that
reflect PC applications.  A mechanism for overlaying patterns and bit
map images is also provided.

      FOSPAT interprets mode definitions to set video mode.  Like
pattern drawing commands, mode definitions are stored in...